Women's Pay Disparity A Growing Campaign Issue

Aiming for women voters, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has made equal pay for equal work a growing issue in his campaign. He's pushing for a Senate bill that would nullify a Supreme Court ruling that gives women a 180-day limit to file complaints about unequal pay.

This year, the issue of equal pay for equal work has come up primarily because of Lilly Ledbetter, who shared her story at the Democratic National Convention last month.

"Late in my career, someone left a note in my box at work showing my pay versus three males," she says. "We four were doing the exact same job, and their pay was drastically higher than mine."

In fact, it was nearly double. That happened in 1998, the same year Ledbetter retired after two decades at the Goodyear tire plant in Gadsden, Ala. Her complaint eventually made its way to the Supreme Court. Last year, the court ruled that she needed to have filed her complaint within 180 days of when the discrimination occurred — and she had missed that deadline. The court's decision transformed Ledbetter from plaintiff to political cause.

Now the Obama campaign is rallying around her case. But critics, including John McCain, say if the legislation passes, businesses will face frivolous lawsuits.



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